You’re about to hit SEND on your next email. Wait! Review this checklist before you do.
- Does the subject line make clear what the email is about? (if not, rewrite it)
- Could it be shorter? (If what you have to communicate can’t be said in a paragraph or two, create a Word document to explain it. Make the email brief and attach the file)
- Are the files you intend to attach actually attached?
- Is there anything in this email you wouldn’t want the district attorney, the news media, or your boss to see? (If so, hit DELETE instead)
- Did you write this while you were angry? (SAVE it as a draft and rewrite it later)
- Speaking of anger, did you use ALL CAPS in the text? (Consider changing to normal text)
- Are you about to hit REPLY ALL? (Are you sure you need to respond to everyone?)
- Would it be better/quicker/more effective if you called or left a voicemail instead? (DIAL the phone)
- Did you use emoticons? (Don’t)
- Did you CC the receiver’s boss (or Blind CC them)? (Maybe you just want to keep them in the loop, but it often comes across as a power play to keep the receiver in mind. Not cool)
Let’s all do our part to eliminate unnecessary email, reduce the length of our emails, and get back to using this form of communication for quick exchanges of information and files.